Gluten free, refined sugar free and taste like Christmas!
Yes it IS possible!
For years, I had been on the hunt for a decent gluten-free mince pie that DOESN'T contain numerous nasties, in order to make it taste like the regular mince pies I loved so much. I tried numerous shop-bought varieties and nothing quite did it for me.
After omitting gluten/wheat from my diet over four years ago, I believed that my first GF Christmas would probably be an extra challenging time for me. And also that I might end up missing (and mourning) traditional favourites, such as my beloved mince pies.
Thankfully, it turns out I couldn't have been more wrong!
After I was diagnosed, I chose to embrace my intolerance by throwing all my energies in to learning and understanding nutrition and it's affects on the body on a cellular level. This included harnessing the power of plant based foods (I am not vegan but the majority of the dishes I make nowadays are) as well as the alchemy of food.
As a result, my own health improved tenfold (I'm in better shape in my 30's than I ever was in my 20's!) and my study, research and personal experiences meant I was also now able to provide a greater level of nutritional information for my personal training clients; enhancing their results too!
I am so grateful for learning certain techniques involved in creating nourishing, nutrient dishes that taste frickin' phenomenal - not like they are 'missing something'!
And that's pretty much the story of how these mince pies came to be! This will be my third year of making and loving them at Christmas and after tweaking it a few times since my first attempt in 2014, I'm proud to share the recipe with you now too!
Because these mince pies are made ENTIRELY from scratch (no shop-bought pastry, thank you very much!) they are also 100% vegan. beautifully satisfying and one actually IS enough - and please remember that's coming from somebody who could quite easily have smashed through four or five regular mince pies in one sitting, back in the day...
For the ingredients, I tend to buy the organic fruit online, as it can be pretty hard to find any in the shops that doesn't contain either oil or sulphites to preserve it! Feel free to play around with the quantities of cinnamon and vanilla too, I'm a huge fan of Ceylon cinnamon (as the attendees of my last Nourish workshop have learned!) as it makes everything taste sweeter - and you can never have too much cinnamon at Christmas, right?! 😉
I'm certainly not alone in being flabbergasted by the amount of processed sugar-laden Christmas themed items, masquerading as food on offer in the supermarket, that appears to increase every year...am I?!
And I can be 100% sure that purely from reading this, you too are a person who has made your health a priority and no longer wishes to feel the sugar high and crash (and mood low!) that promptly follows eating such aforementioned processed nasties!
So I hope you enjoy this Christmas recipe and feel as happy as I have in the knowledge that you can now experience the taste of a traditional Christmas classic, without compromising your health!
Christmas wishes and brightest blessings, Gen x
- 2 organic royal gala or braeburn apples, cored and chopped
- 1 tsp organic raw vanilla
- 100g organic raisins
- 100g organic sultanas
- 100g organic dried cranberries
- 1 tsp ground ceylon cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- Juice of 2 organic oranges
- 1 tbsp organic coconut oil
- 400g almond flour
- 6 tbsp organic coconut oil
- 20 organic medjool dates (about 400g)
- Gluten-free flour for dusting surface (I use rice or coconut flour)
- Coconut flour for decoration
- Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4
- Combine the mincemeat ingredients into a saucepan over a low heat. Stir and simmer for about 30 min, until the apples soften.
- Meanwhile, make the crust. Place all the remaining ingredients together in a food processer with 4 tbsp water and blend until everything has combined and the dates are broken down. It should look like pastry!
- Sprinkle the gluten-free flour over your surface and roll the 'pastry' out until it’s about ½ cm thick.
- Grease a 12-hole muffin tin with coconut oil and mould the mix into the holes using a 10cm cutter. Place the tray of crusts in the oven for 8 min or until they turn golden brown.
- Cut the remaining mixture into star shapes using a mould or a cardboard star if you don't have one!
- Remove crusts from the oven. Spoon 2 heaped tsp mincemeat (or as much as you like) into each crust and place a star on top. Return to the oven and bake for another 8 mins.
- Remove the pies from the oven and leave to cool for 20 mins before indulging (they will be VERY hot!)
- Sprinkle with coconut flour for a festive look.
- You can omit the star shape if you prefer to leave them 'open' or alternatively you can make circular 'lids' for the mince pies, whatever you prefer!